High obsessive-compulsive individuals may have attenuated access to internal cues associated with active movement: Evidence from a head repositioning study

Or Ezrati*, Eyal Sherman, Reuven Dar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and objectives: The Seeking Proxies for Internal States model of OCD posits that obsessive-compulsive (OC) individuals have attenuated access to their internal states. Consequently, they seek and rely on discernible substitutes for these internal states. Previous research has supported these conjectures. Other studies, using a variety of measures, reported a reduced sense of agency (SoA) in OCD. The current study aimed to connect these two bodies of research by focusing on internal signals associated with active movement, which are related to the SoA. We hypothesized that the performance accuracy of high OC participants would be similar for active and passive movements, while that of low OC participants would be higher when the movement is acquired actively. Method: Participants with high vs. low OC tendencies were asked to reposition their head to a target angle that was acquired actively or passively. This was repeated with eyes blindfolded to evaluate reliance on visual information. Accuracy of repositioning was measured with a cervical range-of-motion device. Results: As predicted, while low OC participants presented a significant decrease in their accuracy after passive (compared to active) acquisition, high OC participants’ accuracy did not differ between acquisition types. Contrary to our predictions, reliance on vision was similar across groups. Limitations: The generalization of our findings to OCD requires replication with a clinical sample. Conclusions: This study implies that high OC individuals have a deficient access to internal cues involved in active movement. This might contribute to their doubt regarding their actions and to their reduced SoA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume60
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Movement
  • OCD
  • Proprioception

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